2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
4 6-oz. halibut fillets
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (quartered if they're big)
1/4 cup torn fresh basil, plus a handful of small leaves for garnish
Step 1: In a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas lightly. Don't allow them to brown. As soon as you begin to smell them, remove the pan from the heat and transfer to a large plate. Set aside.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 3: Sprinkle the halibut on both sides with 1 tsp of the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet with an ovenproof handle over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer but is not smoking. Place the fillets skin side up in the hot oil and sear until the fish begins to turn colour, 2-3 minutes. Turn the fillets and add the lemon juice, wine and butter to the pan. As soon as the butter melts and becomes foamy, add the capers and tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes release some juices, about 1 minute.
Step 4: Place the pan in the oven until the fish is cooked through, 7-10 minutes. Baste the fish with some of the juices and transfer to serving plates. Add the 1/4 cup torn basil, pepitas, and the remaining teaspoon of salt to the pan juices and stir until the basil is slightly wilted. Spoon the mixture over the fish, garnish with fresh basil leaves, and serve.
Watch Cat Cora demonstrate this recipe on Online TV.
Reprinted with permission from Cat Cora's Classics With A Twist (2010 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).